LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As Monday marked 22 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Las Vegas fire crews continued their annual tradition honoring the victims who died in the attack so many years ago.
Fire Station Five in Las Vegas hosted the tolling of the bells ceremony. That location is the home of an American flag that once flew at the World Trade Center in New York City. Additionally, a remnant from the building is on display at the facility. A plaque, mounted below the piece of steel, reads “This piece of the World Trade Center is displayed in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice trying to save others during a tragic time of need. 9/11/2001 – We will never forget.”
“We are always going to remember the sacrifices that were made before,” said Fernando Gray, Fire Chief for the City of Las Vegas.
At 6:45 a.m., the approximate time of the collapse of the World Trade Center’s south tower, a bell rang in front of the fire station, calling back to a time before radios when fire crews would communicate using bells on street corner fire alarm boxes.
After the tolling of the bells, retired New York firefighter Frank Pizzaro performed the national anthem. Like so many first responders on that day in 2001, although off-duty, Pizzaro answered the call and leaped to action. The retired firefighter lives in Las Vegas now and has been performing the anthem at the annual ceremony since 2017. Pizzaro believes that the tragic day should not just be remembered annually, but year-round.
“If we take anything from this, it’s that we always remember and never forget,” Pizarro said. “It’s an honor every year to be able to honor those who have fallen.”